Monday, February 9, 2015

JT- February 9, 2015

Dear Everyone,

Today was another week on the mission. This week, we were able to have interviews with President Welch and Zone Training Meeting. It was a great opportunity to talk with President Welch. He is truly an inspired man and I am so blessed to have him as my mission president. Each of us were only able to talk with him for 12 minutes. That is a short amount of time. He set his iPhone timer  for 12 minutes. The interview felt like it was 2 minuets. It was insanly short, I don't think I have experienced a faster 12 minutes in my life. I wish we had more time, but I was grateful for that time. He is so inspired and again I am so grateful.
This week missionary work wise was basically normal. We were able to teach a few lessons, but none that were too significant to report. However, Larry (I decided to name our English Speaking investigator that) came to church and afterward, we were able to talk with him. I felt the spirit pretty strongly and we were able to answer his many questions to the best of our ability. It is nice to teach people in English because it is then that I can tell how much my testimony has grown and I can gauge on what I need to improve on. I learned that throughout my mission so far, I improved in teaching simply. I learned that this gospel really is pretty simple. Like I said last week, It all rides on the fact that God loves us, and he will never stop loving us. I was able to share with Larry a little bit about my thinking. My companion and I could sense a bit of a change coming over Larry. There was a good feeling in that meeting and he left probably the best 
prayer I have heard him say at the end of that. I could see the change in him from these 3 ish months since I have met him. In the first lesson, we taught him our way of praying and invited him to pray, but he didn't want to because he felt like we would judge his prayer. But now, he prays at the end of each lesson and each time he has improved. He still won't read the Book of Mormon yet, but he will get there. Like it says in 2 Nephi 28:30 "For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little". He will get there. Another thing that I have learned on my mission so far is that we need to trust in the Lord's timing. He knows all and he always knows what is best for us. He also knows what is best for those we teach. We as missionaries only have control over a few things. Our efforts, our personal worthiness, and our desires along with others. We don't have control over our investigators or the agency of others. We are here to plant seeds and to follow the Spirit. Our purpose as missionaries is to "INVITE others to come unto Christ by HELPING them to receive the restored gospel." It is not to Force or to Command or to Make them change. It is to Invite and to give them the opportunity to use their agency. We can't make them get baptized, we can only invite and help them make that decision for themselves. Just that thought makes missionary work fun and not stressful. We need to trust in the Lord's timing. Because he loves us and he knows all, everything will work out in the end.

I got artsy again...

A Crazy bike we saw in Fukuchiyama

So my mom said some time ago that she wanted "A Week in the life of Elder Lamoreaux in Japan". I haven't done it yet, so I am taking this opportunity to do it. (Dendo=missionary work (proselyting)) 
Monday-Preparation Day. Wake up at 6:30, exercise for 30 minutes, Get ready, eat breakfast. 8:00 Personal Study for 30 minutes. Then Companion study for 30 minutes. Then Language study for 30 minutes. 9:30, we clean the apartment for 1 hour, doing dishes, cleaning the Kitchen, bathroom, vacuuming, all that jazz. Then at 10:30, we go to the church to email. Us and the sisters usually switch off every week as to who emails first. So after email, (or before if the sisters are first) we go shopping. We go to a grocery store and get food for the week. Sometimes we go to Daiso, a dollar store with everything you need, or a nearby recycle shop that has really awesome ties for really cheap. Then we do whatever else we need/want to do, which is usually in the apartment taking a nap. Preparation day ends at 6:00 when we go out and dendo.
Tuseday-Saturday (Normal Daily Schedule)- Wake up at 6:30, exercise for 30 minutes, Get ready, eat breakfast. Breakfast for me is usually some kind of eggs or toast or cereal. Simple things. On the even numbered days, we go to the church for the study cycle and on odd days, we stay in the apartment for study. 8:00- Personal Study where we study the scriptures, Preach My Gospel, the Liahona, or anything else that the church provides for us to learn about the gospel and about our investigators. I always read the Book of Mormon for at least 15 minutes and that has really strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon. 9:00-Companion Study. We sing a hymn, pray, recite an "ansho" (The first vision, our purpose, D&C 4, or the Japan Kobe Mission Theme), read 3 pages of the missionary handbook, then discuss what we have learned in Personal Study. We then plan lessons that we have planned for that day and study about ways to help our investigators. 10:00-Language Study. I usually read the Book of Mormon in Japanese to be able to read it more like a native, to get some vocabulary from it and some grammar principles. I think about the lessons we have planned and write in English what I want to say, then translate it out in Japanese. Language study is hard for me, but I am getting better at knowing how I best learn Japanese. Then we have lunch. Lunch is a bunch of different things everyday. We make pasta, curry, yakisoba (noodles in yakisoba sauce with some meat and different vegetables) and whatever else we feel like making. Then from 12:00 to the end of the day, we are out in the streets of Japan finding people to teach, teaching investigators, and doing what everyday missionaries do. Trying to listen for promptings of the Holy Ghost as to where to go, what to say, who to talk to, which houses to knock on and everything else. At 8:00 ish, if we aren't teaching a lesson at that time, we go back to the apartment and eat dinner. Then 9:00 is daily planning session, where we talk about the day, and plan the next day, fill out the area book and discuss our investigators. then we get ready for bed, eat 2nd dinner, write in journals and then lights out at 10:30. Tuesdays at 7:00 is Eikaiwa where we teach Japanese people English. That is always fun. We usually have at least 6 people there, which isn't a lot, but it still helps them. It is a good way to do service and to get investigators and really to bond with the Japanese people. Saturdays at 7:00 is game night. We play Ping-Pong. That is pretty fun and my Ping-Pong skills have gotten much, much better. Most Fridays, we have District Meeting or Zone Training Meeting.
Sunday- Go to the church at 8:45 for DCS (Ward mission correlation meeting) (not sure the english for that) Sacrament meeting starts at 10:00. After Sacrament meeting, we either teach investigators that come, or if none come, we go to the Gospel Principles class or the Youth class. Then we go to Priesthood. We usually help teach the Young Men's class. Then at about 1:30, we go to the apartment for Lunch. 2:30 to 8:30, Dendo. Return at 8:30 to submit our numbers for the week and then prepare for bed. 10:30 sleep.

So, that is the mission life. Busy, busy, busy, but it is good. I am always exhausted at the end of the day, but it is a good kind of exhausted. The best feeling is if you can lay down at 10:30 and report to your Heavenly Father that you did all that you can to bring others closer to Christ. It is hard to be able to do that, I am trying every single day. Missionary work is work, but if our hearts and mind and strength are centered on Chirst, we can do anything. That goes for anyone, not just missionaries.

Well that was a long email. I will close by sharing one of my favorite scriptures D&C 123:17 "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." I know that if we do all that we can, if we put our 100% effort in serving God and in striving to be closer to Him, we can gain all that the Father has. We will be able to stand with Him in the Celestial Kingdom and look back on our life with no regrets. It will be hard, it was intended to be hard, but only through overcoming the hard things, will we be perfected in Christ. Like a quote that hangs in my Grandma's home "I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it." I know that is true.
I love you all and I am so grateful for all your support and prayers.
Elder Lamoreaux

Little zone selfie at Zone Training Meeting

Beautiful view of the Inaka (countryside) of Fukuchiyama

While on Kokan (Companion Exchange) in Fukuchiyama, we helped the Branch President build a greenhouse, storage thing at his house. We built the whole thing and it was pretty fun.

A couple of the Sister's investigators came to church yesterday. They are Filipino and they were so cool to talk with. Here are some pictures.

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